Living in England, Christmas is sitting by the fire and family gatherings around the evergreen tree. Australia offers something altogether opposite.
On Christmas day, I awoke cramped and somewhat clammy in the top bunk of the campervan with my family somehow fitting in other ingenious crevices within. Blazing sunshine, the sound of lapping waves, and the slight odour of a mobile toilet were there to greet me on the strangest and most memorable Christmas I have ever experienced. After a quick dip in the campsite pool, and after failing to shotgun one of the many ‘barbies’, we were fated to work the only cooking device we had, and one resisted so vehemently in our household: the microwave oven. After learning of the difficulty of cooking jacket potatoes in that machine, we tucked into our meal around our own deliberately miniature, wooden, and foldaway Christmas tree. The day’s conclusion had us lounging in cool, blue, sea water, surrounded by warming sunshine.
New Year’s Eve holds the event of the year in the Sydney calendar: The Sydney Harbour fireworks. The views from the Royal Opera House across to the harbour bridge, with the flashes of fireworks dominating the landscape, are awe-inspiring and incredible to behold as the world counts down to the New Year.
Australia’s seasonal celebration is special. Sun, sea and astounding sights fill this most precious of holidays.